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Author Rushton, William James, IV
Title A. R. Ammons and the forms of identity
book jacket
Descript 321 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-01, Section: A, page: 0177
Adviser: Jahan Ramazani
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Virginia, 2001
The following study of the poetry of A. R. Ammons explores the means by which one contemporary poet of extraordinary analytical capabilities has managed thus far in his career to fabricate a grandly sweeping, assimilative vision of human identity in the face of such disparate forces as have broken our cultural imagination, have broken western knowledge, into the unneighborly components among which we now live
Ammons's scope is considerably larger than simply the human, however, for to understand how it is that human identity takes shape, Ammons has been a constant and precise observer of the ways in which coherent entities of all kind take shape in the world. Ammons's great subject, finally, is energy itself: the way it exceeds, in its purest form, all particular manifestations, and yet the way, too, that it concentrates in order to form a thing , whether flower, star, government, or mind---whether "goldfinch, corporation, [or] tree," as he puts it in the early poem "Mechanism."
The principal subject matter of Ammons's poetry can be most succinctly characterized, in fact, as a continual oscillation between the concentration of energy into form, into an identity, and the return of that energy to its original state of imageless, ineffable flux. To illuminate this dual perspective-identity as dispersed, decentered, mercurial; identity as coherent, shapely, fragile (or powerful)---I examine the provocative difference between the philosophy of Ammons's long poems and that of his short lyrics: a difference which, I argue, structures Ammons's entire poetic career
While I take considerable pains to meet Ammons, as it were, on his own terms, I also consider his poems in such wider contexts as British and American Romanticism, deconstruction, ecocriticism, and modern science. In all my approaches to his poetry, I tease out Ammons's heightened consciousness that the world is revealed but also obscured by language itself
School code: 0246
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 62-01A
Subject Literature, American
Alt Author University of Virginia
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